The Restless Gemini

Έν οίδα ότι ουδέν οίδα --- Hen oida hoti ouden oida

December 23, 2005

How good is your John Hancock?

While going through my daily subscription of word a day from http://wordsmith.org, I got to know the word 'curlicue' or 'curlycue' (KUR-li-kyoo) which means a decorative curl or twist, in a signature, calligraphy, etc.

To find some great curlicues, try the US Declaration of Independence http://archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/declaration_zoom_2.html
The most prominent signature is of John Hancock, the first signer of the document.

According to a legend as per Wikipedia, he signed his name largely and clearly to be sure King George III could read it, causing his name to become an eponym for "signature". However, other examples show that Hancock always wrote his signature this way.

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